Twelve year old Simon Pooni used to have promise as a basketball player. But then fate decided against it and he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Trapped in crutches or a wheelchair, Simon is living a bully-filled hell. The only escape he has is a series of superhero films about Flying Brick Superior, starring constant victim of I Am Not Spock Tade Scott. Simon idolizes the character, wishing to have his powers so he wouldn't be crippled while also ensuring he never would be bullied ever again. Then a space monkey named Ormon shows up and transforms him into the fictional superhero, gifting him with his powers as well. His dream come true, Simon proceeds to become the selfless hero he idolizes and flies off to try and fix the world. However, unknown to him, Ormon is not who he says he is, and his wish may come with great consequences.
Superior is a seven issue miniseries written by Mark Millar and illustrated by Lenil Francis Yu that doubles as an unapologetic love letter to the Christopher Reeve Superman films and the character of Superman in general.
The series is also noteworthy for its title character being the subject of an attempt at the world record for "Fastest Comic Book Produced" as well as "Biggest Number of Creators Contributing to a Book."
Provides examples of:
- Badass Bystander: Tade Scott masquerades as Superior to buy time for people to flee from Abraxas.
- Batman Gambit: Ormon knows that Simon can't resist an emergency that would require him to become Superior. So he transforms a bully into Superior's archnemesis to raze New York, forcing Simon to agree to sell his soul so he can save the city. If only he had taken into consideration that Immortality was one of Superior's powers.
- Berserk Button: Don't talk shit about Simon's mom.
- Big Bad: Ormon.
- Black Best Friend: Chris.
- Captain Ersatz: Superior is obviously Superman.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: In-Universe example. Despite knowing that the character of Superior has been around since the 1940s and originated in comics, Simon's Superior form has Tade Scott's face.
- Deal with the Devil: Ormon is in actuality a demon from Hell looking to obtain a soul after centuries of failure. He offers Simon and Sharpie power in exchange for their souls.
- Dedication: The series is dedicated to Christopher Reeve and Richard Donner.
- Destructive Savior: Simon causes a lot of property damage while operating as Superior.
- Didn't Think This Through: What undoes Ormon. When they drag him down to hell, his fellow demons literally laugh on how it never occured to this idiot that it's pretty hard to collect the soul of someone you just made immortal.
- The Dragon: Sharpie as Abraxas.
- Enfante Terrible: Sharpie gladly murders his parents as sacrifice to become Abraxas.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Subverted. While it's a form that's somewhat familiar to him, Simon reacts accordingly as any sensible human being would to an alien monkey showing up in his room. The thing is that said alien monkey is actually a demon from Hell.
- Franchise Zombie: In-universe, the Superior film series is on its fifth installment, and its actor has been playing the character for fifteen years. It's implied that the franchise has been tapering off, as the theater is currently only half-full. The events of the series, though, end up revitalizing the films.
- Heel Realization: Madeline realizes how much being Superior means to Simon, as well as discovering how much sympathy she had for his plight. Because of this, she decides to abort her plans to expose the truth behind Superior to the world.
- I Am Not Spock: Tade Scott is forever tied to the role of Superior. Simon and Chris exposit that Scott has been unable to get any other work.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Simon feels as though he is a burden to everyone around him due to his disability. As Superior, he would be able to help anyone who needs it and finally be useful for once.
- I Wish It Were Real: The entire premise behind the series.
- Kid Hero: Simon has the heart of a hero, which he puts to good use in the form of Superior.
- Lighter and Softer: By far the sunniest and most optimistic series that Mark Millar has ever written, at least until Huck, which shares many similarities with this one.
- Loophole Abuse: Ormon wins. Simon has sold his soul to become Superior again. Unfortunately, Superior is an immortal, indestructible being who can never die. In short, Ormon just bought something he can never collect.
- The Not-Love Interest: Madeline and Superior/Simon have no romantic feelings or interactions between them. Especially since one is a grown woman and the other is really twelve years old. Even before she discovers the truth, the two remained in a platonic relationship.
- Oh, Crap!: When the above-mentioned Loophole Abuse is spelled out and the ramifications become clear Ormon realises exactly how screwed he is.
- Older Alter Ego: Simon is transformed into the adult Superior.
- Reality Ensues: Simon tries to calm his parents by sending them a note explaining that he's fine. Unfortunately, due to previous similar cases, the detectives investigating Simon's disappearance warn his parents that Simon may be in the hands of a child molester.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted. Superior goes directly to Barack Obama to offer his services. As a result he flies around the world at top speed and frees multiple hostages and villages from terrorists. He then worked to prevent disasters, feed those suffering from famine, and safely disposed of nuclear weapons that were out of date. By the end of the book, however, these solutions ultimately do not last as new problems arise. Despite this, Superior's efforts are recognized and appreciated.
- Shout-Out: Superior disposes of nuclear missiles by throwing them into space.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Firmly on the Idealistic side.
- Superman Substitute: With shades of Captain Marvel.
- Wham Line: "An angel? That's hilarious. I'm afraid I'm actually quite the opposite."
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Madeline takes Simon to a children's hospice to show other kids with similar afflictions as him. She also explains that when she was younger, she was diagnosed with leukemia. She got better, and she discovered her love of reading and writing while recovering, paving the way for her to become a journalist. Here, Simon learns to be happy with what he's got instead of what he doesn't, allowing him to put his I Just Want to Be Special attitude behind him once and for all.
- Your Mom: Simon's personal Berserk Button.